The 12 Steps for Everyone- Steps 6 & 7

This week we are finishing up the 12 steps! We hope you have been able to apply these to an affliction in your life through last week and this week. These steps can be a great guide- even if you don't struggle with addictions! Step 6- We're entirely ready to have God (or your higher power) remove all these defects of character.

Do you recognize your weaknesses? Do you own them? Are you ready to let them go and purge them from your life? As strange as it sounds, many people are not willing to let go of their shortcomings. People hold onto them because they serve a purpose in their lives- even if it is a dysfunctional purpose!

Have you ever had a friend who complained ALL the time about something that is within their control to change? Think about what that person's life would be like if they took control of that issue? It would totally CHANGE who they are because they wouldn't have anything to complain about any more! Many are so uncomfortable with change that even if it creates heartache and dysfunction in their lives- they choose to keep it around because they are too uncomfortable with the change that would happen if they didn't.

I encourage you to make a list of the negative things you want to change about your character. Then pick out the negative things you struggle with letting go and in reality won't let go of. Look at what is left on the list and start there. Make a commitment daily to let go of these shortcomings and begin the transformation to finding peace within yourself.

Step 7- Humbly ask Him (or your higher power) to remove your shortcomings.

As part of finding peace with in yourself, you will need to ask for help to transform the negativity from your life. Ask God or your higher power to take them, or come up with a tangible way to give them to your higher power.

For example, take a pile of large rocks and write each shortcoming you listed in Step 6 on one of the rocks. Take the rocks to the woods, a big hill, or pond, and throw each rock as hard as you can. Saying prayers and purging out your anger at each of the shortcomings can be a therapeutic way to remove these afflictions from your character.

Each time you notice them creeping back in, go back to this exercise. Remember you might not be able to do this alone, so lean on others and God for guidance and strength along the way!

Keep reading tomorrow as Tamara covers Step 8 and 9!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.